Many people understandably wondered what the fishing would be like after the recent hurricane hit the coast of both Carolinas. By all accounts, the fishing has been great, even from the piers that have opened since the storm damage.
Undeterred by a broken trolling motor, Jason Bowen of Durham had to make all his drifts for blue catfish with the wind on Kerr Lake last Saturday. After changing spots once, he hooked up to the biggest fish of his life, a 101-pounder that required reinforcements to land.
Anglers up and down the coast of both Carolinas are having a field day with bull redfish, but other fish are contributing to the fun as well, and sometimes they are doing it with a surprise. Such was the case yesterday for Capt. Rod Thomas at the Georgetown jetties.
Seeing a trout rise to a fly is always a thrill, no matter how often you fish. Having a trout rise to a fly you’ve tied yourself is a greater thrill.
Tying flies is an art, a craft and a science, the concocting of feathers, fur, thread, yarn and other material to produce a fly that looks enough like an insect to make a trout think it’s the real thing.
October is a great time for catching all kinds of fish on the Santee Cooper lakes, but the most anticipated day is the re-opening of the striped bass season after a four-month closure. With recent years as indicators of what’s likely to occur, striper fishing should be sensational on opening day and actually improve as the month progresses.
South Carolina’s Wando River has long been known as a trout hot spot. Unlike most coastal rivers in either state, the Wando doesn’t really go anywhere. This prevents a lot of run-off from entering the river, particularly during tropical-storm season, so the river stays clearer than surrounding areas.
Guide Ricky Kellum points to his home waters, the New River in Onslow County, N.C., as his go-to spot for targeting topwater trout in October. His favorite bait is a Super Spook Jr. with a chartreuse head and white body, a bait that fooled an 8-pound trout in the New last year.
Guide Ricky Kellum always has a stock of trout candy, aka live shrimp, when available, but the pinfish that have taken root on AR 398 make it nearly impossible to float one long enough for a trout to see — at least during daylight hours. But according to Kellum, the reef is also a hot spot on a cool, fall night, and a supply of shrimp is the go-to trout killer.
Live baits are the most-productive ones for king mackerel, especially big kings. Some anglers continue to catch kings using a mixture of spoons, sea witches and lures. Some natural baits are used dead — including two that are favorites of tournament anglers.